Sri Lanka’s Ministry of External Affairs is the government body responsible for conducting the country’s diplomacy and international relations. Sri Lanka’s foreign policy traditionally follows a non-aligned trajectory (Sri Lanka was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement), though it has a strong aspect of multilateral participation – especially at the United Nations where the country takes a pro-active role. Sri-Lanka also attaches great importance to strengthening relations with its neighbours through its role in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Good bilateral relations are also maintained with many countries around the world.
There are over 40 foreign representative missions operating in Sri Lanka, all based exclusively in Colombo except for one Indian consulate which can be found in Kandy. As well as providing various consular services and assistance, these embassies act as intermediaries in conducting bilateral diplomacy. The Norwegian embassy in Colombo has helped facilitate bilateral development cooperation in Sri Lanka since 1967, contributing about $34 million to humanitarian assistance and long-term development co-operation. The Norwegian mission has also been heavily involved in efforts to strengthen peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka operates over 60 embassies, consulates and high commissions in over 40 countries around the globe. It also has two permanent missions to the United Nations located in Geneva and New York, as well as a representative mission to Palestine. The country’s foreign missions and embassies serve as channels for bilateral diplomacy and participation in multilateral organisations. Sri Lanka’s embassies and other foreign missions also provide information and services on consular matters, process visa applications and offer consular assistance to Sri Lankans overseas